Toshio Iwai was born in Aichi prefecture, Japan, in 1962. As an interactive media artist, Iwai began making experimental animations in 1981, moved on to working with pre-cinematic toys such as flipbooks and zoetropes, and since 1986 has been interested in the computer game as a visual music system. After becoming the youngest winner of the Contemporary Japanese Art Grand Prix in 1985, he has exhibited many interactive works at exhibitions worldwide and is now considered as a leading media artist.
In 1987 he graduated from the Plastic Art and Mixed Media master's course of the Tsukuba University, Japan and in 1992 he finished the Artist-in-Residence Program at the Exploratorium, San Francisco. He has designed computer generated virtual sets and characters for the immensely popular daily interactive children's show for Fuji TV, UgoUgo Lhuga (1992-94).
He has had one-person exhibitions mounted in Tokyo, Osaka, New York, Antwerp, Karlsruhe, Espoo and Amsterdam, and taken part in group exhibitions in Canada, Australia, France and etc. His performance with Ryuichi Sakamoto "Music Plays Images X Images Play Music" won the Prix Ars Electronica in the catergory of Interactive Art in 1997. "Composition on the Table" won a Gold Medal of Interactive Media Design Review, I.D. Magazine, New York in 2000. His collaborative installations with Hayao Miyazaki, the animation film director are now the permanent exhibit at Ghibli Museum in Mitaka,Tokyo. He has created „Electroplankton“ for Nintendo DS in 2005.
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